NBE Basketball Report
Harvard Recruiting

BIG SHOTS ALL-AMERICAN CAMP REPORT

July 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

HYATTSVILLE, Md. – The Big Shots All-American Camp at DeMatha Catholic High School features some talented players from all over the country.

NBE Sports was there to take in the action on Thursday and got to see eight of the 10 teams play as well as noticed quite a few college coaches in the gym.

Darian Bryant of St. John’s College HS (DC) may not have a true position, but is best suited as a small forward right now. Regardless of what spot he plays, the 6-foot-4 class of 2014 prospect brings great effort when he steps on the floor and is a strongly built player. Bryant attacks the cup well and runs the floor adeptly. He needs to show he can shoot it consistently, but he did knock down at least one 3-pointer in the game we saw.

Class of 2014 prospect Lloyd Burgess might be limited athletically, but he has a big frame, quality height and he plays pretty hard. The 6-foot-10 center from the Christ School (NC) works around the rim and can get some points down low.

Kiair Crouch, a class of 2014 recruit, is a pretty quick player who can get in the lane and attacks the rim adeptly off the dribble. The 5-foot-10 point guard from Columbia (GA) has a pretty solid build and also showed he can hit a pull-up 3-pointer in transition.

Trevor Dunbar of St. Ignatius (CA) is only 5-foot-9, but the class of 2014 prospect is a nice player. The point guard has a thick build that helps him make up for being undersized a bit. Additionally, he accelerated well and does a good job of getting into the lane.
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ADIDAS INVITAIONAL NOTES – DAY ONE

July 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by N.D. Kendrick

Indianapolis, IN – The first July “live period” kicked off on Wednesday night and NBE Sports joined coaching staffs from numerous college programs in the Circle City to scout the prospects at the fifth annual Adidas Invitational.

This first night was highlighted by a star power match-up with Craig Victor of the New Orleans Elite going at Kevon Looney and his Milwaukee Running Rebels squad. In a sloppy contest, Victor willed his team to 60-50 win.

Standouts:

Rex Pflueger (Compton Magic 16s) – Pflueger understands how to play. He scores in a variety of ways, from three-point land, driving to the basket and getting to the free throw line by creating contact. He is a great rebounder and utilizes his court awareness to get in position for rebounds out of his area. His defense is not as advanced as his offensive game. Great frame.

Damontrae Jefferson (Milwaukee Running Rebels 17s) – Jefferson is a firecracker. He is extremely quick and makes great decisions. Despite his size he has a big heart (or mouth). He shoots the ball well, can shoot it from distance and gets the ball wherever he wants. He also defends, has quick hands and creates steals.

Ladamion Keys (New Orleans Elite 17s) – Keys is about a raw as they come with a hell of a ceiling. He is a very good rebounder and possesses nice instincts around the basket. He is capable of running the floor, but is not very fluid when doing so. He is a name to remember.

Mario Kegler (MBA Hoops 17s) – Didn’t get a great look at Kegler (2016), but in the limited viewing he was constantly putting pressure on his defender because he could get to the rim off the dribble with ease. Kegler can score in the lane with pure basketball moves. He has great touch and body control around the rim. Need a better look. Will update through the tournament.

Tyree Griffin (New Orleans Elite 17s) – Griffin has a pretty tight handle and is a creator off the dribble especially at end of clock situations where he can change speeds and directions with ease for scoring opportunities for himself or an open teammate. He is willing to battle. High motor kid.

Names to remember:

Elijah Mayes 2015 (Memphis Pure Magic)

Terrance Smith 2014 (Memphis Pure Magic)

Chase Jeter 2015 (Dream Vision)

Nnamdi Okongwu 2015 (Dream Vision)

Coaches in attendance:

John Groce (Illinois), Dave Rice (UNLV), Steve Donahue (Boston College), Thad Matta (Ohio State), Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Tim Miles (Nebraska), Tom Crean (Indiana), Bob Huggins (West Virginia), Steve Lavin (St. Johns), Marty Simmons (Evansville) Tommy Amaker (Harvard), Andy Enfield (USC), Sean Miller (Arizona), Mike Krzyzewsk (Duke), Rick Pitino (Louisville) and many more.

RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (10/11/12) — COMMITMENT ROLL CONTINUES

October 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

Major commitments have continued to roll in over the past few days and there does not appear to be an end coming in the near future.

The biggest commitment to come down since Monday’s Recruiting Notebook was that of Karviar Shepherd. Not only is Shepherd a high-level prospect, but he has a chance to be somewhat a program changer at his future institution.

Shepherd, a 6-foot-9 center out of Prime Prep (TX), ended his recruitment by pledging to in-state TCU, according to ESPN.com’s Reggie Rankin. The Horned Frogs are entering their first year in a BCS conference and are also under a first year head coach. However, Trent Johnson now has himself a player to build around in the Big 12, as Shepherd is ranked No. 14 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125.

Shepherd showed at that 2012 Adidas Invitational last July his ability to score with both hands, make great passes from the post and refined footwork that most college big men would be jealous of. Shepherd also protects the rim and rebounds both ends of the floor at an elite level. NBE’s National Recruiting Analyst also wrote that Shepherd has the potential to be a dominant low post scorer at the college level after watching him perform in Indianapolis to kick off the July evaluation periods.
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ORLANDO AAU REPORT — SUNDAY

July 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Sunday was the final day of the last Live Evaluation Period of July. While the turnout was not as high, there were still a number of Division I coaches in the gym until they had to leave a 5:00 p.m. NBE Sports took in much of the action on Sunday and all but one of the games we watched was from non-Gold Pool teams, allowing us to catch some sleepers. Find out below who shined in their last chance of the summer and also see who leads for a trio of 2013 prospects.

TOP PERFORMER

Nigel Hayes stood out as the easy pick for the top performer spot from Sunday’s action. A 6’7 power forward from Whitmer (OH), Hayes turned in a really nice showing for All-Ohio Red. Hayes has had a great summer and he continued his strong play on Sunday, demonstrating a vastly improved offensive skill set and better motor. Hayes has a terrific frame and is a strong player. He is a quality scorer who can connect on midrange jumpers and is also very comfortable with his back to the basket. Hayes even showed that he has the ability to step out and knock down a shot from beyond the 3-point line. He is a solid overall athlete and it is clear that Hayes is on the upswing as a player and a prospect.
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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT – DAY II (PART C)

July 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Thursday evening brought more 17U EYBL action to North Augusta with star players on every court in the facility. NBE had the chance to see its share of the action and here is who stood out to us.

Top Performer of the Night:

Moses Kingsley (Arkansas Wings 2013) – While already a well known name nationally, Kingsley outperformed his reputation in a victory over Cal Supreme. The 6’9” center was an absolute monster on the backboard and protecting the rim. Credited with 11 rebounds and 3 blocked shots, my eyes tell me that both of those numbers are a little bit low. In a game featuring highly touted big men like Marcus Lee, Torren Jones, and his teammate Bobby Portis, Kingsley was unquestionably the best big on the court. His defense has remained consistent but offensively is where he has really taken strides since the April live period. Kingsley was able to finish through contact, flashed good footwork on the block, and even showed a developing off the dribble game. If his offense is ever able to catch up to his prowess on the defensive end, Kingsley could challenge for top center in the 2013 class.
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2012 PEACH STATE SUMMER SHOWCASE REPORT – PART I

July 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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by Alex Schwartz

AIKEN, S.C. – The second Live Evaluation Period of July tipped off on Wednesday night and NBE Sports was in the building at USC Aiken for the Peach State Summer Showcase.

While the tournament might not get as much hype as Nike Peach Jam does, Peach State is also loaded with talented prospects. Several of those players stood out on opening night and NBE Sports caught up with a few guys as well.

TOP PERFORMER

John Egbunu might not be 7-foot like he is listed, but the future South Florida Bull is an impressive player nonetheless. The Class of 2013 center out of Eagle’s Landing (GA) is a rugged interior presence who simply gets things done around the cup. Egbunu turned in an impressive performance for Douglas Brothers Elite in a victory over Birmingham Ice Xpress and was extremely difficult to defend in the low post. He finishes well and does a great job of grabbing offensive rebounds and then putting the ball back in the cup for an easy deuce. Possessing strength and power, Egbunu is also capable of throwing down a big-time dunk, as he most certainly showed on Wednesday night.
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2012 LEBRON JAMES SKILLS ACADEMY RECAP – SATURDAY

July 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Contrast in communication sticks out

by Raphielle Johnson

The LeBron James Skills Academy, and other events like it, provide scouts and media with the opportunity to watch both collegiate and high school players work out in an instructional environment.

The final leg of Nike’s skills academy series, the LeBron camp features 24 college and 93 high school basketball players.

One area that has displayed a stark contrast between the two groups through two days has been on-court communication.

While the college players, be it in drills or in scrimmage situations, consistently communicate with each other the same can’t be said for the the high school stars.

This isn’t incredibly surprising, but if anything the need for instructors to consistently remind the high school players of the importance of on-court communication underlines a major difference between the two levels.

An action as simple as calling out a screen for a teammate may not seem like a big deal, and in many instances pure athletic skill trumps the intangibles when evaluating young talent.

But those “little things” can ultimately be the difference between simply having a shot at being a pro and being able to make an impact as one. This will be something to keep an eye on as the high school players begin scrimmage play on Sunday afternoon.

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ELITE 75 REVIEW – PART II (MASS RIVALS & BABC EDITION)

July 2, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Mass Rivals is another of New England’s dominant AAU programs that was well represented at the Elite 75. Kaleb Joseph (2014 PG), Dmitri Floras (2014 PG), Idris Taqqee (2014 SG), Tyonne Malone (2016 SF) and Josh Sharma (2015 F) all suited up and were joined by injured stars Noah Vonleh (2014 F, ankle) and Jeremy Miller (2015 F, concussion.) Both Vonleh and Miller told me they expect to be healthy and ready to go for the kickoff of the July live period at the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis. Chris Baldwin (2015 F) was also invited to the event but stayed home to nurse a sore back.

Of the Mass Rivals guys in attendance Kaleb Joseph had the best day attacking the basket in early drills and getting everyone else involved once five-on-five action got going. He caught up with NBE before things started to discuss his expanding recruitment. Read more

ELITE 75 REVIEW – PART I (EXPRESSIONS ELITE VERSION)

July 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

The Elite 75 took place on the campus of Umass-Lowell on Friday afternoon bringing together the top talent New England has to offer. All of the area’s top AAU programs were represented including, but not limited t,o Expressions Elite, BABC, NE Playaz, Mass Rivals, CBC and the NY Lightning. I had the chance to catch up with players from all of those programs regarding their recruitment since the unlimited contact period started on June 15th. Starting with Expressions Elite, NBE Basketball will be profiling players from each of these six programs over the next few days.

Expressions Elite was well represented at this year’s Elite 75 led by arguably the top 2 performers at the entire event in Jared Terrell (2014 SG) and Abdul-Malik Abu (2014 PF). Both were dominant in early skill development as well as full court 5 on 5 game action. Before getting started on their stand out days, both stars caught up with NBE regarding their burgeoning recruitment.
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CLASS OF 2014 INTRO: KYLE WILLIAMS

June 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

With college basketball coaches being able to be on the road this April for the first time in several years to evaluate prospects, recruiting at this stage this year seems to be well ahead for the rising senior class than in recent memory. Along with the head start in getting a look at their top 2013 targets, college coaches also had the opportunity to take a glance at 2014 and younger players this past April. That has meant a more meaningful June 15th date for the rising junior class as college coaches got a good look over a two weekend period at prospects and their early phone calls and texts to prospects were likely chosen from what they actuall saw.

One name that is new to many recruitniks that they should begin to learn in the Class of 2013 is Kyle Williams. College coaches definitely know the name and by judging from the list of school making early contact with the 6-foot-9, 225-pound big man out of Freeport (NY), his recruitment could blow up quickly.

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MARYLAND FIRST TO REACH OUT TO ’14 F JUSTIN JACKSON

June 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

As one of the elite prospects in the Class of 2014, it comes as no surprise college coaches have punched in the number of Justin Jackson many times since 12:00 AM on June 15th. At that time the unlimited class and text rule went into effect and it was the first time college coaches could personally call or text players in the Class of 2014.

Jackson, a 6-foot-7, 180 pound F who is on the AAU circuit this spring and summer with Houston Hoops, is taking the recruiting regulations in stride, but is weary of how the process will unfold after this initial excitement wears off.

“It’s fine right now, but I’m sure I will get tired of it,” said Jackson. “It is a part of today’s age, but I’m trying not to get caught up in it.”

Coaches wasted little time in getting out of the gate and contacting Jackson.

Maryland was the first one to call at midnight,” he said.

It was the first he has heard from Maryland in the recruiting process, although head coach Mark Turgeon is very familiar with recruiting Texas from his time at Texas A&M in the past. Following the call from Maryland, a steady stream of programs have been reaching out to Jackson.

Texas, Texas A&M, Ohio State, North Carolina, Florida, Michigan, SMU, Kansas, Harvard, Stanford, and others,” said Jackson when asked what other schools has he heard form already.

Whichever school is ultimately his pick will likely have a high mix of athletics and education to offer. Currently Jackson is home schooled and plays his winter basketball with Home-school Christian Youth Association, a foundation that was put together to give Houston-area kids a place to play basketball and interact with other kids that are homeschooled. Academics are high on list list of factors for his college decision.

“I’m looking for a coaching staff that I have good relationships with, good academics and good tradition [in a college],” Jackson told NBE last month.

NBE will continue to monitor the progress of Justin Jackson throughout the summer as this elite Class of 2014 prospect will undoubtedly attract a list of who’s who among college basketball coaches at events he is playing in when the summer evaluation period gets underway in July to come see him in action. In the meantime they will continue to call, text and message him. Get to know this young man…he will deliver a complete package to one lucky school in the future!





NBPA TOP 100 HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL CAMP: FRIDAY AFTERNOON RECRUITING NOTEBOOK

June 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Whitfield

HARVARD GOT A GOOD ONE!
It did not take long to become really impressed with Zena Edosomwan. The Class of 2013 verbal commitment for Harvard already has a college-ready body. Edosomwan easily could have been recruited to any conference in America, but is going to get a great education.

Edosomwan is long and atletic and has a non-stop motor that continues to hustle on both ends of the court. Maybe the strongest player on the floor in the game NBE saw him in action. So strong he has to be double-teamed at times near the rim on the offensive end to prevent him from scoring easily. He also has a decent shooting stroke for a big man that keeps his upside potential impressive. Will impact immediately at the college level and will also be an elite rebounding force.
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HIGH ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS HOT ON TRAIL OF ANTHONY DALLIER

June 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Over the last several years much has been written on the shortcomings or pitfalls of the fly-by-night prep schools that seem to come out of the woodwork each year across the country. Some are termed diploma mills or accused of funneling their players to certain programs or conferences.

At the complete opposite spectrum of the schools that operate in the gray areas of the sport is Northfield Mount Hermon. If anything, the program could be accused of funneling its players to a certain conference…the Ivy League!

A tremendous mix of academics and athletics makes Northfield Mount Hermon special. In the last several years the program headed by John Carroll in Northfield (MA) has been a virtual factory of Ivy League basketball players. NMH is considered the best combination of academics and basketball in the United States and in the 2010–2011 season eight NMH alums were in the Ivy League, more than any other school in the nation. That number contines to rise with players like Evan Cummins, Joe Sharkey, Jvonte Brooks and Armani Cotton in recent years following the path and will continue to attract players to the program, like Anthony Dallier, who are looking for similar opportunities.
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REEBOK SHOWDOWN SERIES – PHILADELPHIA (SATURDAY RECAP)

June 3, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Alex Schwartz

PHILADELPHIA – In its inaugural year, the Reebok Showdown Series has managed to attract some quality teams. In fact, the field at the Philadelphia event this weekend is one of the best of any tournament in the month of June. NBE Sports was on hand for much of the day on Saturday and had the chance to take in some impressive performances and talk with some talented prospects.

TOP PERFORMER

Rondae Jefferson: One of the top players in the class of 2013 on a national level, the Chester (PA) star was at his absolute best on Saturday afternoon. Versatile enough to play three positions, the 6’6 Jefferson is best suited as a small forward who can be a secondary ball handler and also provide aid down low. With Jaren Sina not present for Team Final, Jefferson actually played a lot of point guard in this affair and was fantastic in doing so. He has a great feel for the game, sees the floor quite well and knows how to hit the open man. Possessing a great build, quality athleticism and nice strength, Jefferson is also impressive from a physical standpoint. The younger brother of Temple’s Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson, Rondae has an impressive skill set, gets to the cup with ease and can really score it. He continues to improve his game and does not seem to be done making progress.

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NIKE EYBL – OAKLAND (SUNDAY RECAP)

May 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Parker vs. Randle highlights day

By Raphielle Johnson

Nike saved the “best” for its final regular season session of Nike EYBL, with the top two players in the class of 2013 facing off on Sunday afternoon. Jabari Parker and Mac Irvin Fire went toe-to-toe with Julius Randle and the Texas Titans, but a furious second half rally for the Chicago-based team fell just short. Behind 23 points and 13 rebounds from Randle and Matt Jones adding 19 and eight rebounds, the Titans won 63-59 to move into a tie for third in Division C with Mac Irvin.

That was a big win for the Titans from a Peach Jam standpoint as well, as the result guaranteed them a berth in the 24-team tournament to be held in July. A loss would have dropped them into a three-way tie with CPE and E1T1 Elite, and while all three would most likely advance (four at-larges join the top five in each division) it’s better to simply take care of business yourself instead of relying on help.

Jones had the assignment of guarding Parker in the first half while Jackson Forbes helped out in the second, and the nation’s top-ranked player seemed to settle for perimeter jumpers a bit too much. But he did guard Randle on the other end in the first half, and to be frank both seemed to be pressing in the first 16 minutes. But Randle’s teammates, most notable Jones, came up big as they led by as many as 18 in the first half.

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CLASS OF 2013 STOCK RISER: SAM SINGER

May 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Sam Singer, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound guard from Ransom Everglades High School near Miami (FL), has been turning heads on the AAU circuit all spring with Gold Coast AAU. Known most for his ability to score off the ball, NBE saw Singer on Day Two of the Hoop Group’s Pittsburgh Jam Fest where his ability to play on the ball helped spring an upset over Philly Pride in an exciting contest. Singer has very intriguing size for a back court prospect which he uses to get into the line and finish or draw many trips to the free throw line as well as a nice looking shooting stroke that is improving out past the three-point arc. What NBE saw from him in Pittsburgh was what he felt were his greatest strengths are as a player.

“I’m a true combo guard and my ability to make shots and create for others and basketball IQ are my strengths,” he said. “I’m working hard this offseason on my athleticism and defensively.”
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MARY KLINE CLASSIC RECRUITING NOTEBOOK

May 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Alex Schiffer

Austin Colbert, a 6-foot-8 forward who attends the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut. The New Jersey native plays AAU basketball with Team Final in the EYBL. Prior to the underclassman game at the 2nd annual Mary Kline Classic Colbert talked with NBE on his current recruiting situation.

“So far Florida, Baylor, Georgetown, Harvard, Seton Hall are all looking at me,” said Colbert.

At this point in time Colbert is thinking about cutting his list down, but hoping to see some additional offers before doing so.

“I’m currently looking to narrow down my list but it would be nice to pick up a few more offers,” he said.

Since the open evaluation periods of April are now past, Colbert has a clearer view of the schools willing to put more effort into his recruitment and is looking to visit one of the schools entering the picture of late.

Temple is starting to get on my really hard and Baylor, Georgetown, Harvard, Seton Hall are on me mad tight,” he said. “Also Texas is looking at me. I plan on making a trip down to Austin pretty soon.”
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One of the hottest names from the previous two weekends in the April open evaluation period in the Class of 2013 in NYC native Jermaine Lawrence, who is currently attending Pope John XXIII in Sparta (NJ). The 6-foot-9 PF has put a strong of impressive performances together with the New Rens AAU team and his recruitment has quickly taken off.

Cincinnati, Rutgers, St. John’s, UCLA [and] Florida are all looking at me, Miami as well,” said Lawrence.

A couple Big East programs are among the new schools quickly entering the mix following his April performances.

UConn and Villanova as well as Temple have all started with me recently.

Lawrence has no current favorites, but is looking into taking a couple visits in the near future.

“I have no favorites right now but I’m working on making a visit to Rutgers right now as well as Cincinnati,” he said.

Lawrence kept rolling on Saturday night, scoring a game-high 27 points in the underclassman contest of the Mary Kline Classic, earning one of the two MVP honors.
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Jared Nickens, a 6-foot-5 wing out of St. Patrick in Elizabeth (NJ) listed the schools currently recruiting him as VCU, Seton Hall, St. Joe’s, SMU, Georgetown, Charlotte and Mississippi State.

Mississippi State, Georgetown and Charlotte all recently started with me,” he said. “I have a visit to Georgetown June 16th. My current favorite is VCU.”
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Nickens’ teammate at St. Pat’s DeAndre Bembry is also drawing plenty of recruiting interest at this time.

Vanderbilt and Georgetown just showed interest in me,” said Bembry on Saturday night. “Villanova just offered me. UNC-Charlotte and Richmond as well as South Carolina are all giving me looks.”

Bemnbry also mentioned Virginia Tech had been recruiting him hard as well. There are no favorites for Bembry yet, but he is starting to look into which school she would like to visit.

“[I] should be making some arrangements for visits in a few weeks<' said Bembry. "I'm going to try and visit UCF, Georgetown and Villanova.”
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From a pure talent standpoint, Tyler Roberson has as much of a ceiling as anyone in the Class of 2013. The 6-foot-7 forward out of Roselle (NJ) catholic and the NJ Roadrunners AAU club certainly has the recruiting list to back that up as well.

Kansas, Rutgers, Seton Hall, South Carolina [and] Syracuse are all recruiting me,” said Roberson. “Everyone is coming at me really hard.”
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Jaren Sina, the 6-foot-1 point guard out of Gill St. Bernard’s in New Jersey made the switch this spring to Team Final on the EYBL circuit and the added exposure paid off with a Big East offer this past week.

Pittsburgh offered me last week after the Nike EYBL,” said Sina.

Sina, who is coached by his father Mergin Sina at Gill St. Bernard’s was once committed to Alabama. The Crimson Tide remain involved but have plenty of company in the competition for his services.

Northwestern, Pitt, Stanford, Rutgers, Cincinnati, Penn State, Alabama, Butler are all involved,” said Sina. Alabama and Northwestern as well as Penn State there all coming at me pretty hard.”

Ina ddition to the three coming at Sina the hardest, he mentioned three others schools specifically when asked where he might plans visits in the near future.

“I’m probably visiting Pitt, Michigan [and] maybe Villanova.”

Sina produced 10 points and 14 assists in the all-star game contest Saturday night, sharing game MVP honors with Jermaine Lawrence.

LAS VEGAS AAU WEEKEND UPDATE: FLORIDA RAMS FLEX MUSCLES; RECRUITING UPDATES GALORE

April 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Raphielle Johnson

The first open weekend of the spring/summer meant action throughout the country, including Las Vegas with Sin City hosting three events. The biggest of the three was the adidas VIP Exclusive Run, which featured most of the nation’s best programs under the three stripes banner.

The program that stole the show this weekend at adidas was the Florida Rams, whose 16u and 17u teams both won championships. The 17 and under team is well-known by this point, as they’re led by one of the country’s top prospects in the 2013 class in Chris Walker.

A slender forward who can run the floor and finish with the best of them, Walker played well on both ends of the floor for much of the weekend and likely had one of the early frontrunners for dunk of the AAU season. But he had plenty of help as well, especially from Florida commit Kasey Hill.

The 2013 point guard ran the show for the Rams, displaying the ability to get to the basket off the bounce at will. Hill also did a good job of distributing the basketball, setting up Walker and Kansas commit Brannen Greene frequently.
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THE HOOP GROUP’S PITTSBURGH JAMFEST: DAY THREE

April 23, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Batko

The Hoop Group’s Pittsburgh Jam Fest came to a close Sunday with some very intense semifinals and championship games. Many of the usual suspects who had been playing well all weekend continued to do so on Sunday but one squad of 2014 players in particular stepped its game up an extra notch and NBE has the rundown.

Caleb Martin and Cody Martin (Team Loaded NC 16U, 2014, Davie) – Even more so than the Harrison brothers in the grade above them, these two 6’6” wings have extremely similar bodies and games. In fact, at this point in their development, they play almost exactly alike. They’re both fairly slender but appear to have the frame to really add strength and muscle. In leading Team Loaded (NC) to the 16U championship on Sunday, the two uber-talented North Carolina natives showed off a nice mix of skill and athleticism and played very well off of each other. Both are good passers that like to work in the high post and on the wing slashing to the basket. They also attack the glass and are active on defense. Their jump shots are decent right now but could certainly improve. In a competitive quarterfinal game against a solid Team Work (OH) squad in the morning on Sunday, Cody finished with 14 points, a handful of rebounds, and a couple of steals while Caleb put up 19 points including a couple of threes and several boards as well.

Also like the Harrisons, Caleb and Cody are 100 percent a package deal as far as their recruitment goes. Still early for the rising juniors, they already have offers from North Carolina State, Wake Forest, and Virginia Tech and are hearing from the likes of North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Xavier, Clemson, Kansas, and Georgetown. Both said they can see themselves in the ACC but that they’d like to wait and take as much time as they can before making their decision.

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THE HOOP GROUP’S PITTSBURGH JAMFEST: DAY TWO

April 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Batko

A full slate of games on Saturday at the Hoop Group Pittsburgh Jam Fest meant a lot more players in action, a lot more eye-opening performances, and a lot more recruiting updates. Below is a rundown of all the players from various classes that NBE caught up with on Saturday at the Jam Fest:

Andrew Harrison (Houston Defenders, 2013, Travis HS) – Regarded as a top five player in 2013, Harrison did nothing to prove otherwise on Saturday. The 6’5” point guard handled the rock, showed off his nasty crossover and great vision, and was able to get his shot off whenever and wherever he wanted. He and his twin brother Harrison listed a top four of Kentucky, Maryland, Villanova, and Baylor but said that doesn’t mean that another school can’t still get into the picture with them.

Aaron Harrison (Houston Defenders, 2013, Travis HS) – Not quite as quick and smooth as his brother, Aaron prefers to play off the ball, spotting up for threes and also attacking the rim. He and Andrew are 100 percent a package deal at the college level, according to them, and whichever school ultimately lands this dynamic duo better have plenty of minutes to go around in the backcourt.
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